No, I haven't developed a crush on the incomparable Jack Bauer, nor have I found myself fascinated by the popular time-sensitive TV Series that has swept the nation.
That is how many miles I rode on my bicycle today. And all thanks to an incredibly generous donation from a loving family, I might add.
Now, for those of you who are cycling aficionados, that may be an unimpressive number to you. But I haven't cycled in at least a year, and I'm feeling an ethereal gladness at the thought of finally being able to travel such a distance on my newly acquired single gear cruiser.
I've earnestly awaited the opportunity to join the ranks of the elite spandex wearing commuters for quite some time now, and today that dream became a reality. A booty bruising reality at that.
My ride was truly therapeutic. As I traveled steadily along the Fox River, I saw men teaching their young children how to cast a line, I noticed white-haired couples walking hand in hand along a path, I smelled a family BBQ full underway, I caught a glimpse of teenage romance in a small simple picnic on the ledge of an old bridge. Today, my commute was a highlight instead of merely a detail.
I hear people talk a great deal about how disconnected they feel from God, and I honestly feel that some of that has to do with how little time we actually spend in His creation. So many of us go from our air conditioned houses, to our air conditioned cars, to our air conditioned offices, and back again. I believe there is something deeply spiritual about simply being in the creation we've been given, and so much of that is lost with our continued hunger for convenience, accommodation, and comfort. How many decisions do we make each day that are based around the notion of creating the most desirable situation or outcome for ourselves?
It's so fascinating the things that I noticed today - things that I had never noticed in the last three years of my normal commute. Nuances and details that had never caught my attention suddenly carried the power to remind me of different times. To carry my soul to a place of rest, where squirt guns and lemonade were a daily routine. When the mysteries of life were enthralling and not merely a problem to be solved.
It's fascinated what two hours on a bicycle during spring can do.
So I offer a challenge, if I may, and it is simply this: Go ride a bike this week. If you don't have one, go to a thrift store or Craigslist and find a cheap clunker for $20 and treat yourself to a ride around your neighborhood. Breathe in the innocence of springtime and let your mind take notice of the things it forgot that it forgot. You may be surprised at what you find.